June 16, 2015
Mercy Executive Directors Christy Singleton (U.S.), Nicola Bartel (Canada), and Arianna Walker (U.K.) met in California last Thursday as a part of a six-day trip that included strategic organizational planning, visits to the Sacramento and Surrey Mercy homes, and stops to visit ministry partners along the way.
To kick off the venture, Bartel spoke to the Mercy residents Thursday at the Sacramento home. Weaving stories from Mercy graduates and from her own personal journey, Bartel told a modern-day tale of Cinderella and the importance of choosing to be kind and courageous even in the face of obstacles and loss. She encouraged the residents to receive God’s unconditional love, to always forgive in order to move forward in freedom, and to speak out God’s Word in order to solidify His truth in their lives.
“If you avoid your pain, it just goes down deeper and deeper inside of you and will come out in other ways in the future,” said Bartel. “You have to journey through the pain in order to get to the other side and experience freedom.”
Walker also spoke a message of “transformation through process” in a special presentation to the Mercy Sacramento residents Friday. “The miracle is not an event. The miracle is not a moment,” explained Walker. “The miracle is in the process. The miracle is transformation.”
Walker referenced Naahum’s story from 2 Kings 5 to show how true healing does not come from a quick fix. She said, “Often we want to be a passive recipient of God’s power instead of a partner with God in a powerful process.” Walker encouraged the residents to engage in the process of surrender, forgiveness, and renewing their minds so they, like Naahum, can be completely healed.
While at the California home, the three executives were able to interact with guests from the community at a Friends of Mercy luncheon. Additionally they participated in a full-staff meeting, where Singleton cast future vision for the organization and explained the latest Mercy outreach initiatives, including The Freedom Experience and the release of Nancy Alcorn’s new book Ditch the Baggage.
Over the weekend the directors traveled to Surrey, Canada where they attended a Sunday service at Relate Church, followed by an afternoon visit with long-time Mercy supporters Pastors John and Helen Burns. They concluded their trip at the Surrey Mercy home, where Walker and Singleton each gave special presentations to the residents on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Singleton used this time to share a global perspective of Mercy’s vision and mission with the residents and staff.
When not interacting with residents, staff and supporters, the international directors met to discuss coming Mercy growth initiatives and implementation. “When we connect as leaders, we get the truest sense of how Mercy is being multiplied globally across generations,” said Singleton. “Mercy is headed in an exciting direction,” she said. “As an international organization we are putting the framework in place to reach further with our mission than ever before.”